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Ontario Ministry of Labour Changes Periodical Medical Examination Requirements

On Jan. 1, 2020 the province of Ontario changed the periodical medical examination on asbestos workers from two to five years; replaced the nine separate medical surveillance codes with one single consolidated and updated code; and replaced the 16 separate codes for respiratory equipment and measuring airborne substances with new, updated and consolidated respiratory protection and measuring provisions.

Ontario also permitted businesses to use the “Quebec model” for calculating exposures to hazardous substances for irregular work shifts and add substitution — or substituting hazardous substances with those that are less hazardous — to the hierarchy of controls.

For more information, please click on the following link:

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Blitz: PPE Take The Lead

Lead the Way on PPE Safety

You wear your hard hat, safety boots and glasses. You know your workplace’s health and safety requirements. You understand that personal protective equipment (PPE) is often the last line of defence when it comes to saving your limbs – and your life.

Yet some workers fail to use PPE. In 2018, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development found that lack of PPE was the second-highest violation on construction projects in Ontario.

“For those who wear your safety gear, ask ‘what value can I offer my colleagues with less experience?’” says Pierre Rouleau, Provincial Construction Health & Safety Coordinator. “Take the lead in helping to protect your colleagues at work. Mentor those who may not understand the life-saving importance of such equipment.”

Starting in early 2020, the ministry will focus on the lack and misuse of PPE at construction workplaces as part of a province-wide health and safety blitz. From January 6 to March 13, 2020, the ministry will raise awareness of requirements for PPE, such as foot, eye, hearing and respiratory devices.

The initiative will be conducted in two phases. The first will focus on education, as the ministry works with the Infrastructure Health & Safety Association to provide resources to workplaces. During the second phase, inspectors will conduct field visits to check whether employers are complying with the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

For more information on the upcoming blitz, visit the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skill Development’s website.

Find resources on using PPE to protect workers by visiting the Infrastructure Health & Safety Association’s PPE webpage

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Ministry of Labour Launches New Accreditation Program

Ministry of Labour launches new accreditation program to reward safe companies

By: Amanda Silliker for Canadian Occupational Safety

Toronto, Ontario, November 26, 2019 - On Friday, Ontario’s Ministry of Labour introduced a new, voluntary program that recognises employers with successful health and safety programs in place. Employers who qualify for the new Supporting Ontario’s Safe Employers program will receive rebates from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) over a three-year period.

“We are unveiling this program because it will promote a safety culture in Ontario’s workplaces, it will encourage organizations to go even further in their safety measures and most importantly, it will help reduce workplace injuries,” said Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton.

Employers from all sectors and of all sizes are invited to participate in the program, which is led by the office of the chief prevention officer (CPO).

“We’re adopting innovative approaches to become a modern regulator,” said CPO Ron Kelusky. “Industry has long asked for rewards for employers who successfully promote health and safety in their workplace.”

To qualify, employers must implement an occupational health and safety management system (OHSMS) that is accredited by the CPO and they must also meet other criteria, including a third-party audit, worker participation and compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Employers can choose to implement their own OHSMS based on an existing standard that has been accredited by the CPO or develop their own OHSMS and apply to have it accredited.

At this time, the CPO has accredited the following national and international standards:

•ISO 45001:2018 – Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements with guidance for use

•CSA Z45001-19 – Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements with guidance for use

•BS OHSAS 18001:2007 – Occupational health and safety management system – Requirements

•COR 2020 updated Standard to be available to implement in January 2020.

Successfully qualifying employers will be posted on the Ministry of Labour website and be able to brand themselves as “CPO-recognized.” Applications will be available to employers in the new year.

The program is the first of its kind in Canada with similar programs existing in Europe and Japan, the MOL said.

To further build on this program, the WSIB has launched its Health and Safety Excellence program, which aims to help workplaces improve occupational health and safety — no matter where they fall on the OHS spectrum.

The program consists of 36 topics that employers can move through at their own pace, earning rebates — a minimum of $1,000 per topic — and other recognition as they go. This program will help employers develop an OHSMS.

“Keeping people healthy and safe is not only the right thing to do, it’s also good for business,” said Elizabeth Witmer, chair of the WSIB. “We know that health and safety improvements can increase efficiency, encourage innovation and lead to longer-term profitability.”

According to the Ministry of Labour, implementing a successful health and safety management system can lower injuries, decrease workers’ compensation premiums, increase hazard reporting, improve overall safety culture and improve health and safety practices.

“It literally brought tears to my eyes when I heard that between 2014 and 2018 in Ontario, 24 young workers were killed on the job,” said McNaughton. “As a father, that makes me truly sad. One death at a workplace is one too many.”

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Ministry of Labour: Regulatory Updates

Industrial Establishments Regulation Amendments

The amendments to Regulation 851 - Industrial Establishments help modernize workplace health and safety requirements that apply to Ontario industrial establishments, including offices, factories, arenas, and shops.

They will increase flexibility by:

  • allowing the use of alternative procedures if worker health and safety is at least as well protected
  • allowing workers to wear personal flotation devices instead of lifejackets when appropriate
  • allowing the use of antidotes, flushing fluids or washes instead of eyewash fountains or emergency showers, where appropriate, to prevent permanent injury to the eyes or skin

For more information read the amending regulation, O. Reg. 186/19.

The amended regulation comes into effect: July 1, 2019

Occupational Health Regulatory Modernization Amendments

The amendments will streamline and modernize the occupational health regulatory scheme under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. This includes Regulation 833 – Control of Exposure to Biological or Chemical Agents and O. Reg. 490/09 – Designated Substances.

They will:

  • replace the 9 separate Medical Surveillance Codes with one single consolidated and updated Medical Surveillance Code (learn more about the new code)
  • replace the 16 separate Codes for Respiratory Equipment and Measuring Airborne Substances with new, updated, and consolidated respiratory protection and measuring provisions
  • permit businesses to use the “Quebec model” for calculating exposures to hazardous substances for irregular work shifts
  • add “substitution,” or substituting hazardous substances with those that are less hazardous, to the hierarchy of controls

For more information, read the amending regulations:

  • O. Reg. 189/19, which amends O. Reg. 490/09 – Designated Substances
  • O. Reg. 185/19, which amends Regulation 833 – Control of Exposure to Biological or Chemical Agents

The amended regulations will come into effect on January 1, 2020.

Updated and Consolidated Medical Surveillance Code

The Code for Medical Surveillance for Designated Substances sets out the Medical Surveillance Program requirements for the following designated substances: asbestos, benzene, coke oven emissions, isocyanates, lead (inorganic and organic), mercury (alkyl and non-alkyl compounds) and silica.

The code applies to employers that are required to provide for medical examinations under subsection 20(4) of O. Reg. 490/09 – Designated Substances. This code provides updated guidance to physicians and other health professionals.

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Working at Heights/Refresher & Joint Health and Safety Part 1 and 2 News!

News for working at heights/refresher & Joint Health and Safety part 1 and 2 certificates

Some important changes and information we would like to inform our learners about Working at Heights/Working at Heights Refresher, Joint Health & Safety Part 1 & 2 and Refresher


  • The Ministry of Labour has contracted Bluedrop Learning Networks to develop and maintain an online Certification Management System (CMS) for all mandatory training records. 
  • CMS is powered by software known as SkillsPassTM.
  • The system will allow learners to access their training records online and on their smartphones 24/7.
  • As of March 4th, Learners will be able to set up and claim their accounts by visiting
  • To access and set up an account, learners will need their address, year of birth, email address and phone number
  • Only learners will be able to login and update their profile
  • Learners can give consent online for their employers to view their training record
  • Questions about setting up an account or technical issues can be resolved by contacting Bluedrop at


Please click the link below to see a detailed video on how to use the new system.

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Training Expiry What Courses expire and when?

No Set Expiry

The majority of courses you will take do not have a set expiry date – but it is expected that the content be reviewed on an annual basis in-house, specific to your own hazards and needs. However if you have not used the skills learned in a period of time then due diligence suggests that you re-take the course to ensure the information is fresh and clear in your mind.

Examples of courses without an expiry date are WHMIS/GHS, Bill 168, Fall Protection, etc.


Set Expiry

There are a few courses where a set expiry term has been mandated:

  • Working at Heights (Construction): 3 years
  • Lift Truck: 3 years
  • Transportation of Dangerous Goods: 3 years
  • First Aid: 3 years


How can ICSS help?

ICSS tracks all training and will send updates prior to your training expiring to the Health and Safety contact for your company. In the month prior to your training expiring the contact will receive a notice and information regarding upcoming courses or booking training.

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Cannabis Legalization

 October 17th, 2018 Cannabis has become legal in Canada

Workplace Questions to ask yourself about Cannabis Legalization...

  • Have you prepared your workplace?
  • Do you have a policy in place or  have updated existing ones?
  • Have your front-line Supervisors been trained?

If not... Industrial & Construction Safety Solutions can help!

Contact us today for more information or take our online cannabis in the workplace course by clicking here

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Top 10 OHS Violations for 2017 as per MOL

Top 10 OHS Violations for 2017 as per MOL

  1. Workplace violence and harassment (11,662 violations)

  2. Fall protection (9,658)

  3. Lack of personal protective equipment (8,318)

  4. Improper access and egress (6,472)

  5. Health and safety representative and JHSC (6,239)

  6. Administrative (6,007)

  7. Basic OHS awareness training (5,232)

  8. Improper use/maintenance of ladders / scaffolding (4,846)

  9. Lack of machine/equipment guarding (4,276)

  10. Housekeeping/work surfaces

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Ontario evaluating working at heights training program

Ontario evaluating working at heights training program

11 construction workers have died this year from falls on the job

construction Toronto

Ontario's Ministry of Labour is reviewing effectiveness of work at heights training for the construction industry. REUTERS/Mark Blinch


Ontario is evaluating the effectiveness of the mandatory working at heights training standards to help prevent fall accidents and fatalities at construction sites. Falls from heights are the number 1 cause of traumatic fatalities of construction workers in Ontario. Between Jan. 1 and Oct. 31, 40 workers died in incidents on the job. Eleven of those fatalities were due to falls.

“Falls continue to be a leading cause of critical injuries and fatalities of construction workers in Ontario. By ensuring that these training standards are effective, we will reduce fatal incidents at work by making sure workers receive high-quality, consistent training for this high-hazard activity,” said Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn.

In Ontario, employers must ensure that certain workers complete a working at heights training program that has been approved by the chief prevention officer and delivered by an approved training provider before they can work at heights.

The training standards allow for “high quality and consistent training” for learners, and include a practical component on the appropriate use of fall protective equipment, the MOL said. In order to continue ensuring the safety of workers, the government needs to assess the effectiveness of the training and make improvements to the standards where necessary.

After the review is complete, the Ministry of Labour (MOL) will review the results of the evaluation to determine whether any changes to improve the effectiveness of the WAH training initiative are needed.

Ontario is investing $595,000 to assess the effectiveness of the working at heights training standards.

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Ontario proposing to triple maximum OHSA fine to $1.5 million

Ontario proposing to triple maximum OHSA fine to $1.5 million

Fine against supervisors, directors could be quadrupled to $100,000

Dec 6, 2017


The Ontario government has introduced legislation to triple the maximum fine under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) against corporations to $1.5 million per charge, and quadruple the maximum fine against individual persons — such as workers, supervisors or directors — to $100,000 per charge.

The proposed amendments are, one might say, buried in Schedule 30 to Bill 177 that would implement certain “budget measures." Perhaps for that reason, they have received very little attention. The bill is called, Stronger, Fairer Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2017.

The bill received second reading on Nov. 30 and has now been referred to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs.

The bill would also change the limitation period for laying charges under the OHSA, which is currently one year.

The new limitation period would be the later of one year or “the day upon which an inspector becomes aware of the alleged offence.”

That seems to mean that for accidents that employers are not required to report to the Ministry of Labour, the limitation period would continue running until the MOL finds out about the accident, which could be years later when an inspector drops in for an inspection of the workplace.

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Occupational Exposure Limit (OELs) Updates

Occupational Exposure Limit (OELs) Updates

Effective January 1, 2018, Regulation 833 and O. Reg. 490/09 are amended by (O. Reg. 287/17) and (O. Reg. 288/17) to reflect the adoption of new or revised occupational exposure limits (OELs) or listings for 21 chemical substances based on recommendations by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH). These changes were included in the Ministry’s 2016 consultation “Proposed Changes Affecting the Control of Hazardous Substances under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.” An overview of these changes is given below:

  • Addition of specific listings for 4 substances in regulation: Cyanogen bromide, Ethyl isocyanate, Peracetic acid and Phenyl isocyanate.
  • Revisions to exposure limits or listings for 17 substances currently regulated: Acetone, Atrazine, Barium sulfate, 1-Bromopropane, Ethylidene norbornene, Lithium hydride, Methomyl, Methyl formate, Methyl isocyanate, Naphthalene, Nickel carbonyl, Oxalic Acid, Pentachlorophenol, Pentane, and Trichloroacetic acid, 1,2,3 – Trichloropropane, and Triethylamine.

In addition to the changes noted above, effective January 1, 2018, the Ministry has moved forward with the adoption of proposals that were the subject of earlier consultations. These changes include the adoption of a more protective OEL for the substance beryllium, the adoption of the ACGIH method for addressing exposures to the aliphatic hydrocarbon gases (C1 – C4), and changing the minimum oxygen content in section 138(1) of Regulation 851 – Industrial Establishments from 18% to 19.5% as set out in (O. Reg. 289/17).

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New Employment Sign

There is a new Employment Standards Poster to be posted in all workplaces.

Copies can be downloaded HERE

Hard copies can also be ordered from the MOL

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